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Leadership Team

Academic Leadership

Greg Ira, Director
Greg Ira, Director
 Gregory “Greg” Ira is the CalNat Director, based at UC ANR in Davis. His areas of interest include field-based environmental education, volunteer water quality monitoring, tools for addressing culture in environmental programs and strategic program planning. After completing his Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Masters in Asian Studies, he worked for six years in the Philippines integrating conservation into the context of rural development. In Florida, he established statewide environmental education programs for students and teachers and managed sustainable initiatives including the Florida Green Lodging program. 


Dr. Cameron Barrows is the UC California Naturalist Lead Scientist and an Associate Research Ecologist with UC Riverside coordinating the Center for Conservation Biology's Desert Studies Initiative. The initiative develops risk assessments and implements regional conservation programs for desert flora, fauna and natural communities and enhances secondary level science education in surrounding schools.


Dr. Sabrina Drill
Dr. Sabrina Drill
 Dr. Sabrina Drill is the UCCE Natural Resources Advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, where she helps communities, non-profits, and government agencies manage and restore aquatic ecosystems, from snorkel surveys for endangered steelhead trout, to working with volunteers to understand fishes and fishing in the LA River. She has worked around the country, as well as in East Africa, helping communities understand and conserve natural resources.


Dr. Adina Merenlender, Founding Director, Workgroup Chair
Dr. Adina Merenlender, Founding Director, Workgroup Chair
 Dr. Adina Merenlender is a Cooperative Extension Specialist at UC Berkeley and is an internationally recognized conservation biologist working on environmental problem solving at the landscape-scale. She has published extensively on the influence of land use on biodiversity. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between conservation science and practice through community led environmental stewardship, education, and citizen science. See more at her website.


Sarah-Mae Nelson, Academic Coordinator, Climate Stewards Initiative
Sarah-Mae Nelson, Academic Coordinator, Climate Stewards Initiative
Sarah-Mae Nelson leads the California Naturalist program’s UC Climate Stewards certification course. An educator, science communicator, and climate change interpreter, she's worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a Conservation Interpreter and Online Community Manager for ClimateInterpreter.org. Sarah-Mae is an active member of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), sitting on one of the leadership committees

Staff

Eliot Freutal, Community Education Specialist
Eliot Freutal, Community Education Specialist
Eliot Freutel advances new and continuing CalNat programs in the Southern California region. Eliot has extensive experience working in marine environments as an outdoor education instructor and joins us most recently after working as an educator and climate resilience coordinator for an aquarium. In that capacity, Eliot developed two community outreach programs focused on bringing climate resilience strategies to underserved community members. He is multilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, and English), a shark and marine ecology expert, and happiest when he is outside or underwater.


Michelle Hammer Coffer, Business Manager
Michelle Hammer Coffer, Business Manager
Michelle Hammer Coffer provides all financial services and support to the California Naturalist Program as our business manager. She brings to the job a tremendous amount of fiscal planning and operations experience from her work at UC Davis, before recently joining UC ANR.